This blog covers a massive range of topics, lots of which are useful tips and musings for families. I thought it was about time to cover a subject that is very relevant to the family lifestyle, but has so far not received as much coverage as perhaps it should have; Pets. The furry friends that often enter our lives as not much more than a ball of destructive fluff, and over the years mature and integrate, and indeed become a much loved member of the clan.
It’s with a heavy heart that we often have to accept that our pets will grow old and begin to encounter problems that can affect their mobility and playful, spirited natures. One cause of sorrow and pain, for both pet and owner alike, is arthritis.
Arthritis is a huge problem in a lot of animals including dogs and horses. It is also one of the main causes of large veterinary bills as this disease is very hard to treat. Although medication can help the life conditions of an animal, the disease will never go away and will slowly deteriorate your animal’s joints. Just like in humans we can numb the pain and also improve quality of life meaning that the effects can be limited. Drugs like Metacam for Dogs are particularly good for improving their overall well-being and are also available for cats and horses.
How to spot the signs of arthritis in animals?
- You may notice that if you have a dog or a horse that they start to walk differently as they tend to develop a slight limp.
- Also, you may notice that they start to increase in weight due to being less active as they are in pain and their metabolism will slow down. This then actually works against the disease because it puts even more pressure on the joints.
- Your animal will become increasingly stiffer and not just in the mornings but also throughout the day and they will be less likely to partake in any normal activities. If you have a horse or a dog then this will mean that they are going to run a lot less and will avoid all circumstances in which they have to jump.
- Another sign of arthritis is when the animal becomes less responsive and seems uninterested in exercise and their surroundings.
Unfortunately the only way to treat this condition is to administer powerful drugs to relieve the pain and also decrease effects from muscle atrophy due to lack of exercise and movement. Rimadyl, which is a powerful drug only available through veterinarian prescriptions, is one that helps a lot of dogs as it can calm inflammatory problems and relieves the pain.
For any large animals like horses you would need an even more powerful prescription and this can be found in the form of Pro-Dynam. It is important to work with a veterinary expert when treating arthritis in your animal as they will be able to advise on the best possible course of treatment and rehabilitation that is specific to your animal’s size and breed.